GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Police in Gautier are warning residents to keep their belongings locked and in a safe place. A recent increase in activity has the department spreading this message of caution.
Quiet neighborhood streets throughout the city have been getting some unwanted attention recently.
"I'm going to wait on them. Because they're going to come back," said Mr. Willie, a resident in the Ocean Estates subdivision. "I'm going to be sitting right on that porch."
According to Mr. Willie, at least 17 cars in his neighborhood were rummaged through over the weekend, including one parked on the street in front of his house. He hates that it's happening, but he said there's a simple solution to keep burglars out.
"Keep your car locked. That's all I can tell them," he said. "Keep your car locked."
That's also the message from the Gautier Police Department.
"Remove any valuables, weapons, jewelry, money from the vehicles," said Capt. Casey Baxter. "Locking the doors will simply solve all of this. All the burglaries we've had have been unlocked vehicles."
In fact, residents who had their cars locked found that they were the select few who didn't get broken into. JoAnn Roberts makes it a habit to lock her cars because of the experience she's had in the past.
"It's happened before and we have had people that's rang our doorbell and ran," said Roberts.
Despite the history, Roberts isn't too worried, but hearing of a recent uptick is enough to cause concern.
"I feel pretty secure, but then this makes me kind of upset that people are that brazen to come right at your door and break into your car," she said.
Gautier Police tell us that there were around a dozen auto burglaries Sunday night alone in different neighborhoods throughout the city.
"None of the burglaries that we've had, and we've had a dozen over the weekend, it's all been unlocked vehicles," said Capt. Baxter.
The burglaries have happened in neighborhoods all over the city. Capt. Baxter says even if you feel like your street is safe, go ahead and take extra steps as a precaution because you really never know when a criminal might threaten your area.
If you have been the victim of an auto burglary or have any information about these break-ins, please contact Gautier Police Department at 228-497-2486.